A total of 749 students including 352 females and 397 males on 4th November 2022 were conferred degrees, awarded diplomas, and certificates at the 14th congregation of Mountains of the Moon University (MMU) at Lake Saaka Campus, Fort Portal City. This congregation also marked the first graduation since the University was transformed from a Private Chartered into a Public University.
President Yoweri Museveni in a speech read for him by Vice President Hon. Jessica Alupo said a graduation ceremony is a major milestone in the educational journey of all students and recognizes their hard work over the years and also congratulated Prof. Edward Rugumayo (in absentia) upon his appointment as the first Chancellor of Mountains of the Moon University.
The President said that Government supports projects with growth potential and those that exhibit traits of the steady progress of which education is among them.
He said that education is critical to playing a great part in the social-economic transformation of the country and affirmed that Government will continue supporting and working closely with Mountains of the Moon University to nurture the badly needed human resource and skills in the world of work.
The President said that the NRM policy is broad-based and committed to having one primary school per parish, one secondary school per sub-county, one technical school per district and eventually per county.
The President added, that currently, 90% of parishes in the country have primary schools of which 80% are government aided and 90% of all sub-counties have secondary schools and of which 67% are government aided and in the same vein a big number of all sub-regions have a Public University of which Mountains of the Moon University is among.
The President challenged the new graduates to have a positive attitude towards work and participate in wealth creation programs of the Government among which include the Parish Development Model, Emyooga among others.
The President said that the future of the country is bright and encouraged the graduates to harness opportunities available in commercial agriculture, industry, ICT and the services sector to create wealth for their own transformation and that of the country.
He further urged them to analyse and evaluate the trajectory of society and devise strategies to change the country through their multi disciplinary expertise and urged them to keep healthy in order to be productive as they build the country.
The Minister for Education and Sports in her speech read for her by the State Minister for Primary Education Hon. Joyce Moriku Kaduchu said that higher education is essential to foster transformation of the country.
Mrs. Janet Museveni said thanked all stakeholders of MMU in ensuring that education becomes a major pillar in the economic development of the country and expressed optimism that the university will grow even to greater heights.
She pledged to pursue the remaining challenges since the University was passed on from its previous owners to become a Public University in the country.
Mountains of the Moon University (MMU) Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Pius Coxwell Achanga who was delegated to perform the roles of Chancellor Prof. Edward B.Rugumayo who was unable to be at the 14th graduation. Prof. Edward B. Rugumayo extended his warmest regards and best wishes for successful function.
“Madam Vice-President, I humbly request you to convey our deepest appreciation to His Excellency the President, for the confidence he placed in Prof. Edward B. Rugumayo, by appointing him the first Chancellor of MMU Public University. Permit me to humbly inform you, your Excellency, that Prof. Rugumayo did accept the appointment of becoming the Chancellor of this University, and pledged to do all he can to play his part in taking this University to greater heights. It is therefore my earnest plea to all stakeholders of MMU, to support the Chancellor, the new Council, and Management of MMU, in carrying out their respective tasks.” said Prof. Achanga.
On a special note, Prof. Achanga thanked the stakeholders of Rwenzori region for their overwhelming support and acceptance to support MMU. On that note, he thanked the Minister of State for Gender and Culture, Hon. Peace Regis Mutuuzo, Woman MP of Bunyangabo, along with the officials of Bunyangabu District Local Government, for the collaborative idea of offering the University land at Kasungaynaja in Bunyagabu District. The University plans to set up a Nursing School and Clinic there. This is the spirit of development, that is helpful for the steady progress of Uganda as a Nation.
He furthermore recognized the initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fishers under the leadership of Hon. Frank K. Tumwebaze, for approving the concept for the proposed Institute for Agriculture and Food Policy Research at MMU adding that this is a clear indication of the direction that MMU is a young University that aspires to explore.
Prof. Achanga requested the Government to tarmac the road network from Kabundeire Market at Kabundeire, the one connecting Fort Portal City to Harugongo and Kichwamba sub-counties, MMU, Muhooti Military Barracks, and Katojo Prison. This he explained would indeed spur greater developments along that road.
MMU Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof. John M. Kasenene, who who was delegated to perform the roles of the Vice-Chancellor indicated that it was a historic day for commissioning MMU as a Public University, and secondly, gracing the occasion of the 14th graduation ceremony of Mountains of the Moon University, but the 1st graduation ceremony under the public dispensation.
He said “On behalf of the University community and indeed people of our Country, we express our deepest gratitude to His Excellency the President and Commander in Chief, General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, for recognizing Professor Edward B. Rugumayo’s distinguished service and granting him the opportunity to serve this University as Chancellor.”